Bonn, Germany, November 3-7, 2017
Climate justice needs us all. That means you, too.
In November 2017, thousands of delegates and climate justice activists from all over the world will be traveling to Bonn for the 23rd UN Climate Change Conference (COP23). The COP23 presidency is held by Fiji, an island state whose very existence is threatened by climate change. The logistics of the conference are being handled by Germany, whose hypocrisy in climate matters is coming in for increasing criticism: it mines and burns more lignite than any other country in the world, and emissions from road traffic have not gone down at all since 1990. This is a unique opportunity for us to speak out for climate justice, so we warmly invite you to the People’s Climate Summit in Bonn, Germany, from November 3 to 7.
The People’s Climate Summit will be a place of encounter and inspiration. People from a wide range of movements will be coming together to network, learn from one another, and empower each other.
One thing is certain: the window of opportunity to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees is closing fast. Restricting the increase in temperature is the key to preventing runaway climate chaos. We are already witnessing an increase in floods caused by heavy rain, more forest fires due to extreme heat waves, devastating droughts and famines, the destructive power of storms and the melting of ice caps. The consequences are gravest in regions of the global South where the livelihoods of people who are the least to blame for climate change are being destroyed. While those of us in the global North can cushion the blows from climate change, or adapt to the changes already happening, people in the global South often do not have these opportunities. Poverty, resource conflicts, global injustice and causes of migration and flight are being exacerbated by these ecological crises.
As major carbon emitters, industrialized countries and fossil fuel companies and – increasingly – emerging economies need to lead the way and take action to protect the climate and fight poverty. This will require a drastic reduction of global carbon emissions and thus the rapid end of coal, oil and gas, as well as financial support to the affected countries and the transfer of state-of-the-art technologies to promote the worldwide transition to renewable energy. Nuclear power is not a solution to the climate problem. Where those affected by climate change have to adapt to the new normal, or if losses and damages cannot be avoided, those who have done most to cause climate change have to provide fair support.
Identifying and combating the structural causes of global inequality is also a key issue. These include unfair trade agreements; economic structures that violate human and workers’ rights and overexploit resources; mining projects that destroy villages and pollute sources of drinking water, agricultural and development policies that promote large corporations instead of organic farming, as well as misguided climate protection measures that are realized on the backs of local communities and their livelihoods.
Climate justice is not only about cutting CO2 emissions. Focusing on CO2 as the measure of all things often obscures the importance of the needs and diversity of nature, societies and our ways of life. We need to transform our society into one that focuses on caring for the planet and for each other. And we want to work toward this goal together with you and people from many countries around the world.
This is a daunting task, to be sure. However, people around the world are fighting for social and environmental justice, and initiatives to build resilient communities are taking shape. We will be gathering in Bonn at the People’s Climate Summit from November 3 to 7 to promote these movements. Three central evening events are planned for the weekend of November 3 to 5; full-day workshops are scheduled for November 6 and 7.
Realizing climate justice will take each and every one of us – see you in Bonn!